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June 30, 1924 - “George White’s Scandals (1924)”

A summer tradition in New York for 30 years was “George White’s Scandals.” Turn back the clock to 1919 and vaudeville was still alive and kicking across the nation. It fed the Great White Way with both material and talent. One of those who followed in the footsteps of the great Flo Ziegfeld was George White. White was a performer with the “Ziegfeld Follies” for several seasons before striking out on his own to create his own franchise.This was the fifth annual “Scandals” on Broadway, a series that lasted until 1939. While Ziegfeld’s show was a lavish, upscale extravaganza, White’s “Scandals” were a bit more modest in production, concentrating on fulfilling the title’s promise with scantily clad dancers and low comics. The headliners of this edition of the “Scandals” included the dancing DeMarco’s – a husband and wife vaudeville team. At this point, Tony DeMarco was dancing with his first wife, Nina. But as his wives changed, so did his dancing partners. Also on board was Winnie Lightner, who was often typecast as a wise-cracking gold-digger and was known for her talents as a comedienne and singer. For prurient interest, returning for the fourth time was actress and singer Peggy Dolan had been a beauty contest winner chosen as one of the most beautiful women in America in 1915. And no edition would be complete without his chorus line of ‘Scandal Mongers’ doing their ‘Scandal Walk.’ Music was credited to George Gershwin, who started participating in 1920. With the enormous success of “Rhapsody in Blue” earlier in the year, George Gershwin’s final score for the “GWS” had little lasting impact. Of his five years of songs only “Stairway to Paradise” from the 1922 version and “Somebody Loves Me” from 1924 have continued to prove popular. In addition to staging the “Scandals” White also wrote lyrics. Although he had appeared in the first three stagings, he remained behind the scenes from 1922 onwards.

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